This patient information and photograph on Orlando MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM Treatment is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Molluscum contagiosum is a common infection of the skin, it can occur at any
age, but it is more frequently seen in young children and young adults. Typically they appear as tiny red to flesh colored bumps on the skin. In children they occur anywhere on the skin, but in adults Molluscum contagiosum are most frequently seen in the genital area.
What causes it? Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a viral infection of the skin. Although sometimes called "warts" the Molluscum virus is unrelated to the wart virus. When the virus invades the skin it divides rapidly in the skin cells and a bump forms. Some people have strong immunity against the virus and are not easily infected, while others have little immunity and are readily infected.
Is it dangerous? For the typical healthy person Molluscum Contagiosum is a harmless disorder. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs. For individuals that are immunosuppressed it can be very psychologically debilitating.
Can it be cured? Yes. I have a variety of techniques I use to treat Molluscum. The type of treatment I choose will depend on the size, number, and location of the Molluscum and age of the infected individual. In some patients we choose no treatment and let the lesions resolve on their own.
Will I get more? After infection, most people develop immunity to the virus. Children tend to develop better immunity as they grow older. Even though immunity can develop, re-infections can still be seen.
Will it spread? Molluscum can be spread from one area of the body to another. Treatment may be needed to help prevent further spreading.
Is it contagious? Molluscum contagiosum is very contagious. It is spread by skin to skin contact. This type of contact is seen in young children between playmates, and in adults between sexual partners.